Priest sanctioned after speaking at women’s ordination event

A priest who spoke at a US women’s ordination conference has been told he can no longer celebrate Mass in a San Francisco parish.

Fr Jack McClure joined three inactive priests on a panel at a Women’s Ordination Conference in Philadelphia this month.

Precious Blood Fr McClure said that he felt called to break his silence on women’s ordination as part of a call to dialogue initiated by Pope Francis.

“I believe that any kind of discrimination, any kind of bullying, is just wrong and we have to stop it,” he said.

Now he has been told he can’t say Mass at Most Holy Redeemer Parish in San Francisco after the end of the month.

He was pastor and parochial vicar there for the past 15 months.

The order came from the secretary for San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone.

Before travelling to Philadelphia, Fr McClure resigned as parochial vicar at Most Holy Redeemer and intended to move to a Precious Blood community in Berkeley.

But he had hoped to help out at weekends at Most Holy Redeemer.

Most Holy Redeemer has a history of being a “welcoming” parish, and over the years it has attracted many gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Catholics, some of whom have felt unwelcome in other Catholic parishes.

Fr McClure, 71, reacted to the latest development by saying “I feel the pain of being silenced and in this silencing I am beginning to feel the deep pain women feel all over the Church”.

He thanked Archbishop Cordileone for allowing him and his religious community to minister in the archdiocese.

Archbishop Cordileone issued a statement: “I’m very pleased with the pastoral care that Fr McClure gave to the community at Most Holy Redeemer, and also that he has the opportunity to serve his order’s Berkeley community nearby.”

In the 1980s Fr McClure left the priesthood because of what he saw as discrepancies in the Church.

He later married, and when the marriage ended, he returned to his religious community.


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